Joanna Gilbertsen, BSN, RN

Joanna Gilbertsen, BSN, RN

IBD Nurse Supervisor and Team Ciorba

I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.  Soon after graduating, I moved to St. Louis and worked as a Step-Down Nurse in a post-surgical medical unit at Missouri Baptist.  After 4 years, I transitioned to our IBD Division at Washington University as a Clinical Nurse Coordinator for Drs. Matthew Ciorba and Chien-Huan Chen.

I have been with our division since 2013 and have received the best mentoring through Dr. Ciorba and Dr. Chen.  I can honestly say that I really love what I do and I’m so thankful to be in this position.  I understand the journey that is involved with having an IBD diagnosis, including all of the ups and the downs.  I enjoy getting to know our patients, and value the relationship that develops as our interaction and care continues over time.  I am highly involved with our patients and remain at their side every step of the way.  I am also very active in the IBD community serving on the Crohn’s and Colitis National Patient Education Committee and the Mid-America Chapter Medical Advisory Committee.

IBD is a very complex disease that continues to evolve, with new disease information and treatments being discovered across the world.  I believe that disease education is vital, and try my best to provide our patients with up to date resources so they feel more confident in decision making and moving forward in their care and therapies.

One of my favorite quotes by my favorite author Abraham Verghese states, “I think we learn from medicine everywhere that it is, at its heart, a human endeavor, requiring good science but also a limitless curiosity and interest in your fellow human being, and that the physician-patient relationship is key; all else follows from it”.  I find this quote as being so perfectly stated, and see it reflected every day within our IBD program.

Our program provides a complete approach for our patients. The care they receive from our specialty providers and support staff truly sets itself apart; I am so thankful to be included.  On the days that I’m not at Washington University or participating in Crohn’s and Colitis events, I enjoy time with family, and the great outdoors (I absolutely love to fish, especially fly fishing).  I love and spoil my two “fur babies”, Louis and Rosie.  I enjoy every day as it comes and look forward to whatever the future may hold.